Dummit’s Exaggeration

Josesph Dummit’s article spoke about the advertising and dialogue used by pharmaceutical companies and how this leads to consumers believing that they might have depression, high cholesterol, etc, even when they do not. While I thought that Dummit raised some valid points about the strategy used by pharmaceutical companies, I had a hard time buying into the point that he was making, tending to believe more that this theory is only really applicable to “hypochondriac” type people. Every day we are bombarded by commercials on TV similar to the ones he describes, which suggest to us that we might have such and such a disorder. However, I think that these techniques will probably only hold true to those who are prone to believing they are always sick, or those who really are sick. He distinguishes between the commercials saying “you have X” and “you might have X.” I do not follow Dummit’s belief that this is a negative. If people respond yes to such questions asked in the commercial, than they should seek a doctor’s help to determine whether they have X or not.

Dummit also writes in his conclusion that consumers are conditioned to “see a doctor in order to ward off the invisible risk they have been taught to worry about.” I do not think that this is always a bad thing, as Dummit seems to be suggesting. There might actually be a positive side to this. Even if constant appointments on the excessive side, some diseases may be caught early on due to this worrying, thus saving a person’s life.

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